Megan L. Jordan
I am a Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar at The Ohio State University in the Department of Arts Administration, Education, and Policy. Over the past few years, I have worked at the intersection of social science, policy, and the arts.
I obtained my PhD in sociology at Vanderbilt University in 2022, where I worked as a research associate and fellow receiving research funding from the Curb Center for Arts, Enterprise, and Public Policy as well as the Vanderbilt University Medical Center - Meharry Medical College Community Engaged Research Core (CERC). My research and teaching interests include social movements, power, work & occupations, mental health & wellbeing, intersectionality, and arts & culture. My research agenda examines the social psychology of social movements by analyzing activists' burnout experiences and retention/coping strategies.
My other work examines artist activism as a vital form of activism and understands it as also a form of arts entrepreneurship.
Presently, I conduct research in three major areas. First, expanding from my dissertation on activist burnout and retention, I am performing a longitudinal study of how activists balance their social justice missions in their careers. Second, as part of a larger study on burnout and retention, I am examining the lived experiences of artist activists creatively constructing and maneuvering their careers to serve social justice missions. Working to make apparent the entrepreneurial characteristics required of artist activists to do their work, my research makes the case to consider artist activism as a form of arts entrepreneurship. In this study, I cultivate new understandings of artist activists’ careers during an especially contentious, divisive, and unsettled period in the United States—the Trump Era, Covid-19 Pandemic, and new heights of various social movements. Third, I conduct community engaged research on processes within arts organizations striving for racial equity. I serve on boards and community panels to assist arts organizations in improving their community engagement and diversity-equity programming in meaningful ways. I use my artistic practice as another avenue to share my research in more emotive, accessible ways to bridge build across diverse audiences.
These images are from my invited keynote lecture at Western Kentucky University Gifted Studies Program's Idea Festival (Feb 2023). I gave a talk about my experience at the nexus of research and art to a room of 700 middle and high schoolers.